What could be more fun than sending a marshmallow flying through the air? This great activity also incorporates math and engineering.
What you’ll need:
- At least 7 craft sticks (or popsicle sticks)
- 3 rubber bands
- Small marshmallows
- An adult should carefully cut a set of small notches into the end of one pair of craft sticks about ½-1 inch from the end of each stick.
- Stack the other five sticks on top of one another.
- Wrap a rubber band around each end of the pile of the five un-notched sticks.
- Take one of the sticks with the notch in it and squeeze it between the bottom stick in the stack and the one above it, sliding it all the way through so only the last inch of the notched end is sticking out.
- Take the final stick and place the notched end over the notched end of the other stick.
- Take the final rubber band and wrap it around the notched sticks, making sure the band sets in the groove from the notches.
- OPTIONAL: Glue a milk jug lid to the end of your launcher to hold your marshmallows in place easier.
- Your catapult is complete!
You can also watch this video to demonstrate how to build your catapult.
Practice launching marshmallows with your catapult. You can shoot your marshmallows towards buckets or cups to practice aim. Experiment with launching other small soft items, such as craft pompom balls.
NOTE: Never launch items towards anyone.
Try different variations on your launcher to see if you observe any changes. Do different items launch farther? Does using wider or shorter rubber bands, or wrapping them tighter around the launcher make a difference? When you use more or fewer sticks for the base stack, does that make a difference in the height or length your items are launched?